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  • Writer's picturePeter Clayton

James 4:7-8

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

This is the third and final verse, alongside Ecclesiastes 12:1 and Philippians 2:10, identified inside the front cover of my Grandfather’s Bible and marked in pencil in the text. I have tried to gain insight into the logic of the Rector for choosing these three and have come to the conclusion that they provided foundations for a fledgling Christian life.

Things had been challenging for Grandfather. I found a newspaper cutting in the Bible which recounted an incident about a year earlier than the Bible was presented, when he was thirteen and was working in a brickyard. The details are rather harrowing, but as a result of a serious accident and about a twenty mile journey in pony and trap to Lincoln, his left arm was amputated.

Inevitably life would be a challenge and I am so thankful that a faithful Minister in the Lincolnshire Fens provided such important foundations for life. We never know what challenges our offspring will face, but be assured there will be some. We would do well to lay solid foundations in their early years.

· Ensure that they are well grounded in the Scriptures and in the promises of God. They will be a rock when other inadequate foundations flounder.

· Make them aware of the reality of temptation and the challenges of the world around them. Help them to understand the challenge of temptation, the lure of the world and the deceptions of the devil – they will then have the resources to stand firm by resisting the enemy.

· Finally take them with you on your journey to the heart of God – it is that above all that will impact their lives in the most profound way. (RS)

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